“I’ll be back.” “Hammer time.” “Made in America.” Three phrases that have been dying a slow death for decades. However, thanks to dedicated master craftsmen like George Vlagos, that last one could live to see another day.
That’s because Vlagos and his Chicago-based Oak Street Bootmakers are hellbent on doing their part to remind people that certain specialty trades — like custom shoes — can’t be duplicated by machines or sweat shop assembly lines. How? By doing great work firsthand, you know, the old fashioned way.
It’s a mission that’s evident in the video above, where New Girl actor Lamorne Morris gets a custom pair of Shell Cordovan boots made for him in six hours using what Vlagos calls “the best leather there is.” It may seem like an odd blend — an L.A.-based actor getting boots for all-weather terrain. But Morris is psyched about the exchange and understands how rare it is to receive a tailor-made gift like this.
“I love the idea that I get to look the person in the eye who’s making what I’m wearing,” revealed Morris before getting his new set of custom kicks. And then upon final reveal? “The boots are dope; 100 percent one-of-a-kind,” says the impressed TV star before playfully putting Vlagos in his place, “There’s Oprah, Kanye West… now we have George.”
That’s high praise coming from Winston.
Want to see how these two American originals (Morris and Vlagos) came together in the first place? Check out part one of this video.